Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 8/31/17
Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s.
In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
GUNS N’ ROSES – “Paradise City” (1987)
“Take me down to Paradise City, where the grass is green, and the girls are pretty…oh won’t you please take me home?…”
I still remember the first time that I heard Guns N’ Roses while working at a record store on college break. I was blown away by the band that would instantly become one of my favorites. Three decades later, Appetite For Destruction remains one of my all-time favorite albums. I suspect that it always will be.
Although “Paradise City” wasn’t the song that turned me on to the band, it is the one that was probably the most meaningful to me in 1987…
I hated coming home from college. Much like the debaucherous decade of decadence that allowed GNR to live like rock stars in every sense of the word, to a lesser degree, college life in the late ‘80s was a similar experience.
As soon as I was able to look down on the city of lights as I approached my college town after each break, I would pop Appetite For Destruction into the car stereo’s cassette player. Already cued up to “Paradise City,” the song was the soundtrack for my return to the place that I called “home” for four years. Cranking it up on my Blaupunkt sound system made me feel alive.
Back then, the only lyrics that mattered were the ones at the top of this write-up, because they perfectly captured the feeling that I had coming back to college. These days, there are other lyrics in the song that resonate a little more, but that’s a story for another day. For now, I’ll take pleasure in basking of the nostalgia of it all.
DOKKEN – “Heaven Sent” (1987)
Choosing just two artists to feature from one of the best years of hard rock and metal is like eating two potato chips and then closing the bag, but part of life is making tough choices. While GNR was an absolute because of the impact that Appetite For Destruction made on me, choosing a second artist was difficult.
After some reflection, it became clear that Dokken had to be the choice. More specifically, “Heaven Sent,” (off of the band’s 1987 release, Back For The Attack). Both the album and the song were among my favorites from 1987. The song was chosen because of what it meant to me 15 years after its release.
While my wife was pregnant with my first child, we listened to Back For The Attack constantly in the car. We listened to other music as well, but that album sticks out for some reason as one that we listened to the most. Maybe it was because the timing of the pregnancy occurred right after the passing of my dad, but I always felt something special when I listened to “Heaven Sent” with a child on the way.
A lot has happened since the album’s release and my son being born, but to this day, “Heaven Sent” still holds a special place in my heart.
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
D.R.I. – “The Five Year Plan” (1987)
D.R.I., one of the best crossover punk/metal bands, emerged in the late ‘80s from Texas. Embracing their significant contribution to the scene, they even named their third album Crossover, and the term for this genre of music was thus established. As you can imagine, it is a perfect blend of hardcore punk in the same vein as Black Flag and Minor Threat, with the heavy crunchy guitar sounds of heavy metal. This album reminds me of a time of shaving my head and riding my skateboard until the sun came up. I am glad these guys decided to reform and continue touring, even if just for a little while to reminisce about the teenage years.
DEATH – “Zombie Ritual” (1987)
The late ‘80s was such an influential time in metal and hardcore. When I first found this band back in my teen years, I listened to this album non-stop until the cassette tape was worn out. It was brutal, fast, evil, and had such an iconic sound to them. The cover of the album looked like something straight out of the most evil comic book ever written. It wasn’t until years later that I realized what a significant impact Death had to the death metal community. Their 1987 album, Scream Bloody Gore, became pretty much the template for future death metal bands to follow. This album still scares me when I listen to it in its entirety 30 years later.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
SAVATAGE – “Strange Wings” (1987)
In 1987, metal band Savatage changed direction, releasing darker and more complex arrangements with progressive influences. The album Hall Of The Mountain King was both a critical and commercial success, and helped to define the band’s style for years to come. This personal favorite features a guest appearance (near the end) by vocalist Ray Gillen (of Badlands fame).
DEF LEPPARD – “Love Bites” (1987)
Def Leppard had their commercial breakthrough in the early ‘80s, but it was in 1987 that they released an album that charted seven singles on the Billboard Hot 100. That album was Hysteria. The highest of the charting singles was this power ballad. Adapted for rock from a country ballad, “Love Bites” remains the only song by the band to go all the way to #1.